NORTON, Mass. (WJAR) — Dozens of first responders participated in an active shooter training from Wednesday to Friday at St. Mary’s Church Parish Center in Norton.
Norton Police Chief Brian Clark told NBC 10 News the training was planned there months ago because the place was available.
The deadly shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh Saturday morning underscores the importance of active shooter drills, and it wasn't far from the minds of law enforcement officers during the drill.
“This is certainly something that is everybody’s worse nightmare,” Clark said.
The training looked eerily real.
Officers, with guns drawn, entered a building to respond to an active shooter scenario. Even though it was merely a drill, the goal was to mimic what a real-life response would look like.
“No stopping. No surrounding the area. Get in there, mitigate the problem, stop the shooter. Then, fire -- get them in, EMS, immediately. Stop the bleeding. It could save lives, and this training does that,” said Patrick McMurray, who is the Homeland Security Advisor for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Since the shooting in Pittsburgh, Clark said local houses of worship haven’t contacted police to talk about security measures. But he said Norton police have a good relationship with them and would be happy to meet with them.
“We have been out to different businesses and given them an overview of an active shooter, active threat, and what they should do -- kind of a run, hide, fight aspect of things. We’ve done that several times,” Clark said.
McMurray said, “The public should know that we’re being very proactive and not being complacent at all.”
The active threat integrated response course training was sponsored by the Southeastern Region Homeland Security Advisory Council and the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency.